Monday, December 1, 2008

Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers

This book by Leonard Koren is a fantastic brief overview of the wabi-sabi aesthetic. I found the following excerpts particularly valuable and relevant.
Things wabi-sabi are expressions of time frozen. They are made of materials that are visibly vulnerable to the effects of weathering and human treatment. They record the sun, wind, rain, heat, and cold in a language of discoloration, rust, tarnish, stain, warping, shrinking, shriveling, and cracking. Their nicks, chips, bruises, scars, dents, peeling, and other forms of attrition are a testament to histories of use and misuse.
"Things wabi-sabi are appreciated only during direct contact and use."

And maybe most importantly, things wabi-sabi are simple: "Pare down to the essence, but don't remove the poetry."